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Despite its glam, chandelier-strung interior, this collection always incorporates a folkloric theme, employing unusual, handmade-looking accents to make each piece feel unique. There are knit sweaters edged with pom-poms, fur-trimmed boleros, and floral-print gowns inset with lace. From Los Angeles' West Hollywood neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.
When Opening Ceremony debuted in New York in 2002, it was the first shop to rotate themes, and while there are now emulators, it still does it best. Each year, the focus shifts to talent from a different country (the store's favorite lines stick around to join a home team of sorts). This fall, it's devoted to Japan, with labels like Cosmic Wonder and Hiromi Tsuyoshi. The L.A. offshoot dwells in Charlie Chaplin's old dance studio, which makes for a cool, warren-like shopping experience; upstairs is a minimall, with in-store boutiques for Mayle, Topshop, and Acne. From Los Angeles' West Hollywood neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.
Previously known as Kaviar & Kind, this relocated enterprise is still as frequented by celebrities and stylists as the original. Set in a 5,000-square-foot bungalow surrounded by a jungly garden, the store delivers much more than the jewelry that first earned it its following: It's also a great resource for Jesse Kamm's silhouette-skimming clothing and handbags by Bird. From Los Angeles' West Hollywood neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.
Stacey Feldman comes from a fashion family (her father, Norman Todd, designed everything Mary Tyler Moore wore on her TV show), but her boutiques embody Feldman's own point of view. The entire palette is muted and gray, from the washed wood floors to the slate-hued Stella McCartney sweaters and sequin-studded Alexander Wang sweatshirts. Farther down the street, she has a home goods spot and a denim bar. From Los Angeles' West Hollywood neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.
Most of this cavernous former car showroom hosts the mix of clothing for which American Rag became famous more than two decades ago (plum vintage alongside established labels like Helmut Lang). Its housewares wing, Maison Midi, brims with Provençal-inspired glasses and pillows, while a 2006 addition, the World Denim Bar, offers a hugely expansive array of jean lines. From the 50 Best Boutiques in Los Angeles.
With a grandmother who founded Montreal's Fraid's department store and a father who created Le Tigre, Hillary Rush has retail in her blood. A former advertising director for Gap, Rush opened her hugely popular shop in 2005, mixing old-schoolers like Il Bisonte and K. Jacques with fresh-to-the-market endeavors like Daryl K's line Kerrigan. From Los Angeles' Beverly Boulevard neighborhood store listing, updated September 2008.
Helene Ige designed not only many of the items for sale at this quietly low-key duplex but also the shop itself. It's filled with little displays of gorgeous pieces: her own mobiles styled after Victorian birdcages, eensy spiders blown from blackened glass, and beaded scarves from Megan Park. From Los Angeles' Beverly Boulevard neighborhood store listing, updated September 2008.
Though it resembles nothing more than a wood-walled yoga studio, Inago in fact exists to answer the call of partygoers across the city by stocking pretty much nothing but dresses—hundreds and hundreds of them. There are versions from an expansive list of labels: patterned wrap numbers from Issa, silk halters from Mara Hoffman, and jewel-studded caftans from Binetti. Most are tagged at $200 or less. From the 50 Best Boutiques in Los Angeles.
Save for a solitary drawing of a caveman on its exterior, this vintage warehouse is completely unmarked. Inside, there's a world of meticulously sourced army/navy and workwear from the 1890s to the 1970s, for both sexes. Some of the rarer items are pricey, but there are deals mixed in too: well-loved tees, perfectly beat-up cowboy boots, and simple khaki button-downs. From Los Angeles' Beverly Boulevard neighborhood store listing, updated September 2008.
In 2005, Rose Apodaca and her husband, Andy Griffith, decided to open a modern home goods store on a whim, and three outposts later, it's clear their impulse has had staying power. Divided into color-blocked zones, the spaces are devoted to cleverly designed items, like Droog's self-balancing serving trays and Ora Ito's undulating, gold-plated hard drive. From Los Angeles' Santa Monica & Venice neighborhood store listings, updated September 2008.
Switch Beverly Hills might be known more for über-luxe shopping than small, independent brands, but this space is adding loads of up-and-comers to the neighborhood. Choose from delicately crafted Rodnik blouses and chiffon dresses from Hanii Y. From the 50 Best Boutiques in Los Angeles.
L.A.'s downtown might be gentrifying, but it's still the city's grittiest neighborhood, which makes it the perfect backdrop for the only Comme des Garçons Guerrilla Store in the States. It's housed behind Blends—the sun-drenched rare-sneaker emporium that hogs a slice of the block—tucked in the back, down the alley, behind a dingy door. The hand-cracked, tile-lined, windowless room—intentionally threadbare and lit with long fluorescent bulbs—showcases Rei Kawakubo's deconstructed pieces, jewelry from locals, and the full range of Comme des Garçons wallets and fragrances, all carefully arranged on stacked-to-the-ceiling shopping carts. From the 50 Best Boutiques in Los Angeles.
Adopting a curatorial attitude to retail isn't new, but this Chinatown arrival does it in a pleasingly amusing, unpretentious way. In its current incarnation, New High (M)art resembles a South American bodega and is all about goods from local designers that evoke a tribal theme. There's a happy jumble of Grey Ant tops trimmed in vibrantly hued ribbon, necklaces crafted out of jump ropes, and sweaters woven from a hundred colors of thread. From Los Angeles' Downtown and Chinatown neighborhood store listing, updated September 2008.
A pioneer in Chinatown's burgeoning retail scene, this much-heralded space—on the second floor of an industrial '60s office building—is something of a mecca for those in search of forward-thinking clothing from Mociun, Anntian, and Slow and Steady Wins the Race, along with one-off art publications and mix tapes compiled by musicians. As featured in Lucky's City Summer Shopping Guide!
Just two doors down in Brentwood from where owner Navin Megji went to preschool, Feature is her interpretation of what a good neighborhood shop should be. Though she did a stint in New York at Dolce & Gabbana, she always wanted to come home to offer a slate of labels—Mischen, Marlova, Karen Walker—that locals used to have to drive too far to find. From the 50 Best Boutiques in Los Angeles.